Climate change activists march on Virginia Capitol

More than 70 activists descended on the Virginia Capitol this past week, calling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe to take a more aggressive stance against climate change.

The event was organized in conjunction with Virginia Conservation Network Lobby Day by Appalachian Voice Environment Virginia, the Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter and the Virginia Conservation Network.

Carrying miniature windmills and large posters, the activists began their march on Seventh and E. Grace streets in downtown Richmond. Before circling the rest of Capitol Square, the marchers briefly paused outside of the governor’s mansion to sing a rendition of the French nursery song “Frère Jacques,” which called for less carbon emissions.

During his gubernatorial campaign, McAuliffe acknowledged global warming as a scientific reality. Glen Besa, director of the Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter said he’s hopeful the governor will do more to curb carbon emissions.

“We’re excited to have a governor who understands that climate change is real. We’re out here today to encourage him to take action,” Besa said. “The governor has a lot of authority over the kind of energy that our state buildings use and whether our buildings are energy efficient.”

Sierra Club Program Manager Kate Addleson said the march was organized to remind the governor and the General Assembly that climate change isn’t an issue Virginians want their elected officials to ignore.

“The purpose of the march was to make sure the governor knows there are hundreds of thousands of Virginians who really care deeply about climate change and protecting our natural resources,” Addleson said.

Sierra Club Chairwoman Ivy Main said she thinks the issue of climate change is often sidelined because of party politics.

“Climate change has become a political topic where it ought not to be,” Main said. “It’s something that should not be a partisan issue, but in some cases people line up by party.”

Many marchers were hopeful for more bipartisan support for renewable energy legislation. Besa said defeating Senate Bill 615 also would have been considered a victory for the march.

“It (SB615) would have tied the state’s hands to address the action it would need to take against climate change,” Besa said.

SB615, introduced by Sen. Charles Carrico, R-Galax, originally would have required the State Air Pollution Control Board to establish separate carbondioxide-performance standards for coal-fired and gas-fired electric generating units on a case-by-case basis and to consider whether less strict performance standards than those required by the EPA’s Emission Guidelines are warranted, according to a summary of the bill.

"The bill (SB615) is consistent with the Clean Air Act's standards as established by the EPA," Carrico said. "I'm sure Sierra Club and other groups are against it (the bill) because they feel Virginia isn't as friendly as the federal government (toward limiting carbon emissions). You're not going to change their minds."

The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee amended SB615 to allow the state to study the costs and benefits of the EPA carbon emission guidelines. SB615 is ready to be considered by the full Senate.

“We do not oppose the amendment to the bill (SB615),” Besa said. “We (the Sierra Club) consider it a victory.”
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Reynolds CC dedicates student center


Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’


Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017


This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

Slipping through


Hermitage quarterback Jay Carney escapes defenders during the Panthers' 33-0 win against Godwin Friday night. Hermitage is 8-0 and has won its past four games by a combined score of 172-28. > Read more.

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October 2017
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The Short Pump Ruritan Club's 27th annual Craft Show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Rd. More than 70 crafters and vendors will be participating featuring a variety of items, including handmade jewelry, purses, fall and Christmas décor, baked goods, photography, original paintings, Thirty-One, The Doll Hospital, doll clothes, handmade soap, candles and more. Flu shots and free blood pressure checks will be offered by IVNA. Admission is free. For details, contact Susan at 387-6804 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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